The most tragic aspect of Henry Cavill leaving The Witcher is the audience’s response to the news. The immediate sadness of losing the actor from the Netflix fantasy series was replaced by a venomous wrath directed unflinchingly toward the writers and producers of the show. The Witcher has been hailed by critics and fans as something that could have been and should have been the next Game of Thrones. Instead, it now parries away into forgetfulness with a below-mediocre story and an angry fandom.
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Henry Cavill’s Battle With Preserving The Witcher‘s Narrative
Most actors who have had the honor and pleasure of working alongside Henry Cavill on the sets of the Netflix series, The Witcher, have called him a walking encyclopedia. The actor’s extensive knowledge of the world and the essence of Andrzej Sapkowski’s novels made him a priceless and invaluable addition to the cast. But the desperation and misguided ambition of the writers and producers deliberately pushed the show off the cliff without consideration or regret.
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In his statement of resignation, Henry Cavill stated, “I pass the torch with reverence for the time spent embodying Geralt and enthusiasm to see Liam’s take on this most fascinating and nuanced of men.” While none can come close to imitating Cavill, the word “nuanced” further strikes a chord among critics who have noted how the trait is “a core element of Geralt’s character and the world of The Witcher, and unfortunately, a concept that the Netflix show is totally unfamiliar with.”
It was not merely the fact that the writers completely reformed almost 90% of the source material but replaced it with an arc even worse. In a series that was so purposely headed toward downfall, why would Cavill who gave his soul into the character of Geralt stay for another season only to see it getting butchered by writers who “actively disliked” Sapkowski? The first season was as close to perfection as the series could have gotten but now, as they say, even a blind man could see where this is headed. And even that is an understatement.
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A Critique on the Incompetency of The Witcher‘s Writers
Several critics and reviewers of The Witcher have come forward after the news of Henry Cavill’s exit to pick apart the difference between the actor’s formal statement and the actual reason behind his premature departure. Given how big of a fan Cavill is of the original work and how invested he has been since the show’s casting days, it is unacceptable to think that a “demanding production schedule” could be the reason that finally axed his stay at The Witcher.
In 2019, Cavill had infamously iterated that his long-term investment in the series would be conditional on one aspect: “As long as we can keep telling great stories which honor Sapkowski’s work.” The writers’ room walking all over the author’s source material goes directly against Cavill’s principles and given the latter’s immense love for the books, his respect for Sapkowski, and the enthusiasm behind bringing alive the character of Geralt, Henry Cavill’s withdrawal comes off not as a tragedy but a necessity.
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Cavill’s building frustration with the deviation of the adaptation from the source and the undulating changes that only go from dumb to dumber drives the final nail to the coffin that has turned one of the greatest shows of modern times into a failure. As noted by most critics, Henry Cavill would not have left a role he campaigned so hard for “if this show weren’t the fantasy equivalent of Dexter Season 8.”
The Witcher Season 1 and 2 are currently streaming on Netflix with Season 3 set to premiere in the summer of 2023.
Source: Neon Knight